Loneliness is harmless, right? Studies have indicated that brief periods of loneliness are not likely to have adverse effects on your health, but extended periods of loneliness can increase the risks of death by 26%. Loneliness is said to be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. It also raises a person’s risk of cancer, dementia, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
So how does loneliness cause all of this?
Loneliness and Your Overall Health
Just like food and water, human beings need a healthy dose of social interaction to thrive. Maintaining a connection with others provides a feeling of belonging and safety. When we are stripped of these important relationships, due to hearing loss, social distancing, or other reasons, the sympathetic nervous system detects a safety threat.
As a response to this safety threat, the body will produce hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (or adrenalin). This is what puts a person in fight-or-flight mode. Eventually, experiencing constant exposure to excessive amounts of cortisol can damage your overall health.
How can Treating Hearing Loss Help Reduce Loneliness?
Since it is difficult to communicate when you have hearing loss, it also becomes difficult to keep up with your friends, family, and coworkers. Most people in this situation tend to become withdrawn and avoid social interactions altogether. One in five people who experience hearing loss has reported feeling lonely and isolated.
If you experience these feelings, please know that you don’t have to live this way. Modern hearing aids are so advanced that they provide excellent sound quality while tracking the frequency of your body and brain activity. You can get hearing aids that are discreet or brightly-colored, depending on your style. Whichever you choose, know that they will help you reconnect with the people and your surrounding environment.
The latest studies indicate more and more that hearing health is just as important as any other health concern. The effects of hearing loss on overall wellness can be significant.
Please do not put off treatment for your hearing loss any longer. If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.